Here Are 5 Aircraft Engined Cars From The Past That Were Too Advanced For Its Time

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Vehicle modifications has no limit. Tuners squeeze out a lot of horsepower from standard engines with the use of turbochargers, superchargers, and a host of other parts. There are also people known to have swapped engines, and some take it a step further by dropping an aircraft engine under the hood.

Here are five such cars that have a mighty engine under the bonnet, instead of the 'regular' internal combustion engine.

1. Tucker 48

Production numbers being limited to only 51 units, Tucker was forced to shut shop in only two years of existence. The Tucker 48 was powered a flat six engine from a Franklin 6 Series aircraft and helicopter. The cars featured a rear-engine layout, with water cooling, and was named the Torpedo during its development.

As curvaceous as the car looks, the Tucker 48 had features that were far ahead of its time such as padded dashboard, adaptive headlights, laminated windshield, and side-impact protection, that most cars lack even till date. The existing 47 examples of the car are valued at millions per car.

2. Lotus 56

STP, the oil additive manufacturer once commissioned Lotus to build a fast race car, and the result was the Lotus 56, which used a turbine engine with a four-wheel drive layout. The idea behind building the car was to race at at Indy 500, and fair enough, the car was built to run and win the 1968 Indianapolis 500.

In the end, owing to mechanical failures not related to the engine, the car was not able to win races. Race cars that were made later featured the open top design, apart from the engine and drivetrain layout.

3. Fiat S76

We have all heard about this particular car, the Fiat S76, which was later named the Fiat 300HP Record was built in 1911 for one reason — to break the land speed record. Also, this was the first car that was successfully fitted with an aircraft engine.

The engine, a four-cylinder unit had a displacement of 28.5-litres and produced 300HP, available as low as 1,900rpm. One example of the car was fully restored using original parts and was showcased at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

4. Sunbeam 1000HP Mystery

Also known as ‘The Slug' was built to break records and it did. The Sunbeam 1000HP Mystery used two aircraft engines instead of one, each with a displacement of 22.4-litres. The two engines combined gave the car 900HP, helping the car clock 320km/h, making it the first car to do so, back in 1927.

One engine was located in the front of the driver, while the second one was behind. Both engines were locked together using a dog clutch, while one engine used compressed air to start, the other used a friction clutch.

5. Bluebird CN7

Built in 1960, the Bluebird CN7 was designed to set a world land speed record at 800km/h. The car was a one off, built for Donald Campbell who wanted to attempt the record. Campbell eventually had a go and achieved 648km/h, and was left disappointed with the result.

The car uses a Bristol-Siddeley Proteus turboshaft powerplant, which developed 4000HP. Unlike ‘regular' turbine engined vehicles, the Bluebird used a free turbine design that could be modified to have driveshafts at each end, that drove fixed ratio gearboxes.

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